Pay attention to the tension in your body. Let go of it and any expectations to do anything other than God’s will today. Prepare yourself to hear God’s word.
James 2:14-26 (NRSV)
What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,” and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.
But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder. Do you want to be shown, you senseless person, that faith apart from works is barren? Was not our ancestor Abraham justified by works when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was brought to completion by the works. Thus the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” and he was called the friend of God. You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. Likewise, was not Rahab the prostitute also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by another road? For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is also dead.
Throughout life we will say many things, but how many of those things will our actions reflect? I would venture to say not many. Talk is easy, but living out our talk seems to be a struggle. One of my favorite quotes is, “Talk is cheap, but actions are priceless.”
Recently my nephew reminded me that I had promised something, but had failed to fulfill that promise. His words stung. I remembered the promise, but just had not made the time to fulfill it. I had failed to put my words into action, much like when we say we have faith or believe in something, but never live it out. We say we need to strive to meet various needs, but do not get involved. We are a society of too many words and not enough action. May we go forth remembering that actions speak louder than words.
Gracious God, thank you for this reminder that faith without works is dead. Guide us as we strive to participate and live out our words in your ongoing work in the world. Amen.
Go with God.